Home News Forma Bakery: A Fusion of French Pastry and Mexican Flavors Coming to Temescal

Forma Bakery: A Fusion of French Pastry and Mexican Flavors Coming to Temescal

by Celia

Oakland residents familiar with the Schnetz family’s culinary ventures will soon have a new destination to satisfy their cravings. Father Thomas Schnetz and son Jackson Schnetz are set to open Forma Bakery in the heart of Temescal this spring, marking a return to the area where the family launched Doña Tomás in 1999, a restaurant sadly closed in 2019.

Forma Bakery promises to be a haven for pastry enthusiasts, focusing on the art of crafting exquisite croissants and conchas. Jackson Schnetz, shaped by the culinary roots of his Mexican family from Guadalajara, aims to blend French baking techniques with the flavors and influences he absorbed while growing up in his family’s Mexican restaurants. Reflecting on this unique blend, Jackson states, “It’s a funny circular story since I’m coming back to the same block Doña Tomás was on 20 years later.”

With three years of experience at Fournée in Berkeley, where Jackson oversaw the viennoiserie program, he is well-prepared to lead Forma Bakery. The menu will feature approximately five different sourdough loaves, including three enriched bread varieties – brioche, croissants, and conchas. The choice of a coffee partner is yet to be decided, and the drink menu will offer a simple selection of espresso machine fare, echoing Jackson and his dad’s routine expeditions for cappuccinos and croissants.

Highlighting the uniqueness of Forma Bakery’s conchas, Jackson is excited to introduce bold flavors and techniques inspired by acclaimed Bay Area contemporaries like Norte 54 and La Cheve. One standout creation is a nutty ash-flecked concha, acquired during Jackson’s time at Enrique Olvera’s Criollo in Oaxaca. Seasonal options, such as California sweet corn conchas in the summer, will keep the menu fresh. However, Jackson firmly believes that the croissants will steal the spotlight, aiming for a perfect balance of flaky exterior and creamy interior, drawing inspiration from local favorites like Arsicault and B. Patisserie.

Designed as a counter-service and takeout space, Forma Bakery will feature a few benches for those looking to enjoy a quick bite on the go, reminiscent of Tartine’s original bakery. Aesthetically, the bakery draws inspiration from the vibrant cultures of Mexico City and Oaxaca, with a blue exterior and a rustic, simple interior design. This design philosophy aligns with the family’s other successful ventures, including Xolo, La Esquinita, Flora, Bar Fauna, and Tacubaya.

As Forma Bakery prepares to join this esteemed list, Jackson’s expertise gained at Fournée and Criollo raises expectations. “I’ve dreamed of making a place in this area,” Jackson shares. “One because it’s where I want to spend my life living, and two because it’s a personal connection to my dad, a reunion to this area.” With a blend of culinary heritage and innovative techniques, Forma Bakery is poised to become a celebrated addition to Oakland’s vibrant food scene.

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